On Paradise

Last week I wrote about fact and fiction, raising the question of how we know what’s real and what’s not, what’s fact and what’s fancy, and how much we rely on books to form our “knowledge” about the world.

This week’s article stems from that, but takes it in a different direction.

This week I want to write about paradise.

It’s an idea we hear a lot when we talk about the Bahamas. But I suspect we don’t think enough about it when we hear it; we take it for granted, but we don’t really question it. But we should.

My good friend Ian Strachan, whose writing every thinking Bahamian should seek to read, has put out a book called Paradise and Plantation, on tourism and culture in the Caribbean. Of course, his main focus is on The Bahamas, because ours is a culture fully steeped in the idea of paradise. You’ll notice, though, what he links paradise with. In Ian Strachan’s world, the idea of paradise is the flip side of the plantation.

I think I agree with him. It’s not that I believe that tourism is a bad thing in itself; but I do believe that there’s something fundamentally unhealthy in having a unidimensional tourist product, one that’s designed to sell an environment, to push an idea.

To read more, buy the book!

Amazon.com link